Monday, December 5, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow

Yes I'm sticking to my plan to make all December posts start with a quote from the poet.

So, Beta ended
Not with a bang, not even with a fizzle, but with a "Server Maintenance will start in 1 minute". That was pretty close to the most un-epic gaming event I can ever remember having been a part of.
It was such a huge letdown that all day I've been asking myself "did I really get up early for *that*" (in the EU the testing ended Monday morning at 7 am.)
I know it's very entitlement-ish (that is too a word), of me to expect a whole end of beta event, a la what WoW had back when that beta testing ended. But c'mon at least end beta with "see you in game" or "thank you for participating" or something anything.... Other than "Server maintenance will start..." and then shut down.

So after beta ended I stared at the final server list, being offline and going "meh". Not really the feeling one should get for a game you are supposed to be excited about. Because there is plenty to be excited about.

Firstly, beta wen't smooth. Game looks to be rock solid and ready for the heavy load of live. Especcially when you include the headstart ease on the servers we will get.

Oh and how do you ensure that you will get in early? You write spammy twits to @rockjaw where you call him a wide variety of colo(u)rfull names and bonus if you insinuate that his SO has male genitalia. Seriously, I've seen people do this. Try and look at the @rockjaw posts sometime. I'm glad i am not a CM some times.
But in relevant news

No, #SWTOR CE owners do not get more Early Game Access: 30 minutes ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto
(I ofc wrote him 52 tweets telling him to suck it! Suck it hard trebek!)

Sad new perhaps, but relevant.

What did I get to do?
Other than fall in love?

I got to try classes out. I got every single class of it's starting planet, bar 2: Smuggler and Trooper, my two mains come launch.
I am not spoiling even a fraction of their story (well that's not true, but i'll get to that) and I loved all of them. Some more than others. And some for other reasons than others. For example the Imperial Agent. Loved the story, hated the class.
Maybe it was the "pew pew with some healing at level 10-13 in instances" -mode I was in that night, but it was an extremely clunky experience. Nothing flowed, nothing clicked. it was just a desperate do some damage, but never any REAL damage, because you have to save energy for heals. Not very fun in my book. So I am considering leveling my smuggler as long range pew.
Also, like Spinks, I loved both the Jedi Knight and Sith warrior, probably more than I really ought to. I am a sophisticated man (no, really) and the whole dual-wielding power-fantasy thing, should be well below me. (thihihihi below me,.... DAMMIT).
Okay so I had fun. So much fun in fact, that I had to cheat. I had to roll a Trooper to make sure I really wanted to play one of those tanks over the JK for launch. Because honestly the bounty hunter left no impression on me, whatsoever, other than the fact that Meko was cute and fun. Anyway, I only needed to play that pretty pretty awesome Trooper for 3 levels and I knew I'd made the right choice.

That left me with Jedi Counselor and Sith Inquisitor, both classes that made up in story, what they lacked in gameplay. Perhaps the shadow tank or the shadow rogue will be better, but for the first 10 levels I was not blown away by them.
Also, when did throwing pebbles at someone equal hurling lightning? Win for the baddies right there.

I got a very limited glimpse at pvp too. Seemed interesting, but I'd have to try more to make any other comment than "seems interesting".

Then I got to spend one glorious Saturday night playing through Black Talon with two old WoWfriends. One of them being the soon to be active again blogger Calli of PewPewlazors (dunno if this is in fact true, but I will punk him to start writing again.)

And apart from Calli pointing out -glaring- plotholes. I loved it. It had everything one could hope for in a low level instance. Great pace, fun, lovely story (apart from the GLARING plot holes... make Calli explain em, I was in a shock and awe state), great twist (did you know that there are two very distinct dungeons in there, depending on whether or not you let someone live or die.. glorious).

AND as an added bonus to me and my other friend who was not Calli: after 20 runs (give or take) Calli had yet to get *any* loot on any of his alts.
And I'm not sure whether I should tell this or not, but very late, at the very end, a chestpiece did drop that he could use. There was an awed silence over mumble. then the following happened: 1 pass, 2 greed rolls. One player won his greed, the other was Calli.
Turns out it does matter if you click on need or greed, even if the item is for you. So much fun.

Something worrying
All in all, the game holds great promise in my eyes. And even if end game proves to be a dud, I still got 8 great stories to try out before I run out of things to do. So I am happy. They didn't make kotor 3, they made kotor 3-10!! So single-player RPG'ers rejoice.
Yet, end game looks to be at least slightly fun, so it is win all around.

But something about the beta ending, worried me. How do you have a big blowout at the end of beta? this is the first mmo (not counting Star Trek online) I've played where the two factions can't really 'reach' each other. How do you raid the Empires capital? How does the Mandalores spread fear in our hearts by attacking our homes, when it's a city in space, and not a castle that can be laid to siege? And other than the reunited Mandalores (face it, they will come) what enemies exists? Except Empire and republic? That was at least something WoW had going for it. Combined stories, bigger threats. ect ect.
I am curiously awaiting how expansions will handle this.

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